By Diana Oestreich and Elliott Landy


Uplifting Films is a spiritual but nonreligious evaluation of both mainstream and independent films. We recommend movies that have a positive vision of life, leave you feeling good and contain little or no gratuitous violence, exploitative sex or other types of negative imagery. We talk about films that delight, inspire, educate and enlighten. We are for positive films, not against negative ones. Our reviews come from the heart as well as the intellect; our criteria are compassion and love.

We look for positive role models, important messages, humor, positive women's or children's points of view. Political films are included but we warn viewers if there is disturbing content. Occasionally we find an action adventure film that we recommend. We are not advocates of censorship, for example we have no objection to loving sexuality on screen, but we do note its presence out of respect for those who want to avoid it. We hope that by supporting positive films, more will be made and their prominence in the fabric of society expanded. Uplifting Films can be thought of as a guide to mind nutrition for film viewers.

Bagdad Cafe
(1988) Directed by Percy Adlon with Marianne Sagebrecht, CCH Pounder, Jack Palance

A German woman is abandoned on a desert highway by her husband during a visit to America, and the fun starts as she magically gets involved with an extended family whose needs match hers. Two women, from totally opposite lifespaces, meet during a time of marital despair and help each other. A film about creating harmony and joy whatever the circumstances. It is a great portrayal of unconditional love, a magical, memorable and truly exhilarating film experience.

Cold Comfort Farm
(1996) Directed by John Schlesinger with Eileen Atkins, Kate Beckinsale, Sheila Burrell, Stephen Fry, Freddie Jones

One of the most cheerful films ever made. A clever, dauntless and loving young woman angelically transforms her newly discovered despondent relatives, who she has just gone to live with in the English countryside, and finds comic squalor and bizarreness. Through very clever plans and positive thinking, she helps everyone find grace and fulfill their wildest dreams. A gentle story about turning darkness into light in everyday life through determination, intuition, and intelligence. An amazing, unusual film.

Made In Heaven
(1987) Directed by Alan Rudolph with Timothy Hutton, Maureen Stapleton, Kelly McGillis, Don Murray, Amanda Plummer, Debra Winger

A romantic, metaphysical fantasy of how a marriage "made in heaven" comes to fruition on earth. Fabulous spiritual philosophy and mystical musings. Some of its past life related chance events blew me away. This film can deeply affect your understanding and patience with regard to finding your life partner as it shows how each has to be ready before the romance can begin and how life helps you get ready. Definitely right on!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles
(1987) Directed by John Hughes with Steve Martin, John Candy

A wonderful and very funny, although sometimes slightly painful, comedy which hides its message of unconditional love, grace, and charity until its very last moments, reminding us who we are and why we are here. A story of propitious adversity and its beneficial effects. Two men meet by chance while returning home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. When snow forces them to seek alternative transportation, they struggle together in the midst of a winter storm, making for a hilarious road film with a serious spiritual message. Kids will love it as well.

Sadhana - The Path To Enlightenment
(1989, 1996) Directed by Jean Pierre Piche with Marcel Poulin

Shot in a semi-documentary style, this illuminating and thoroughly enjoyable film should please spiritual seekers and those interested in India's spiritual legacy.

Co-writer and star Marcel Poulin travels through beautiful landscapes in search of spiritual growth. We meet several holy men with much to teach as Marcel journeys to the Kumbha Mela, a 40-day religious festival held at the foot of the Himalayas every twelve years, attended by millions of spiritual seekers. The wisdom the holy men shared with Marcel gave us insight into our own personal spiritual paths. We felt that we too received some of their teachings.

"Sadhana" will either inspire you to go to India or serve as a fascinating substitute for something which you may never do yourself. As your local video store may not have this title, request it or contact its distributor directly: Penny Price Media, (914) 876-0239.

Diana Oestreich and Elliott Landy are a husband and wife team with a lifelong passion for film, and spirituality. Diana is a film producer who has developed film projects for many actors, directors and studios including Warner Brothers, MGM, Paramount, HBO, CBS, Barbra Streisand, Christopher Reeve, and Goldie Hawn and is currently developing a feature film which focuses on Zen Buddhism. Elliott is a well known photographer whose images of Woodstock, Bob Dylan, the Band, and the sixties music scene are known worldwide. He has published several photography books and is a music filmmaker and producer. His CD-ROM, Woodstock Vision, The Spirit of A Generation, will be released by Panasonic Interactive Media in 1997.

LandyVision, Inc., POB 836, Woodstock NY 12498. Visit our website: www.upliftingfilms.com   for more reviews of videos and current films in the theaters.

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